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Studio Secrets

Lee Maelzer


Describe the things and images that you have around you in your studio and how they influence or inform your work.

I have a huge archive of random photos and slides that I constantly refer to and use information from. I also have a collection of plastic cups and bottles which serve as incidental still lives whenever I need them. If any extra rubbish is needed, I just wander round Dalston and pick it up.

Describe your working methods and processes.

I make paintings, primarily. I try to spend most days at the studio, like a job, but lots of time is spent messing about (or 'thinking') nonetheless. I work on two or three paintings at a time so as not to get tired of one and mess it up. Some take a couple of weeks and some a couple of months. If I'm having an off day, I make up some more canvases of varying sizes and stretch and size them for future use. In between, I do these things with photos where I melt them down in various industrial chemicals and reprint them digitally. The successful ones of these are finished work on their own. I have just made a huge batch that have been rinsed and are drying out on the floor. I have also started to make my first short film but haven't got very far with it yet. I know what I want

Which single item in your studio is most important to your work?

Paint (hands, brain and eyeballs also indispensable)

Which artist/s most influence your work and which recent show has been inspirational?

Too many to really list but right now I am looking at Diane Arbus, Edouard Vuillard, René Magritte, Goya and Jeff Wall, John Currin, David Lynch and Brian de Palma films and the film 'The Day after Tomorrow'

The Pierre Huyghe film 'Streamside Day Follies' really inspired me. I saw an expressionist show in Amsterdam just after Christmas that I loved. I thought it would make me burst into colour, but it didn't. The Keifer show was great (the piece outside the Royal Academy especially) and the Christian Marclay film at the White Cube.

Is your studio a refuge or a place of torture?

It is a place where all things occur since I am there far more than I am at home!